Tate Modern, The Give and Take opening event, Tate Exchange, September 28th 2016
The two performers, facing each other, at opposite ends of a long strip of cloth sprinkled with ash stretch to pass a block of frozen Thames Water between them. As their body heat melts the ice they slowly step closer towards each other, the stretch becoming increasingly easier, the ice becoming smaller.
The audience witness the process of exchange building connection and intimacy between performers. As they journey towards each other the melting ice releases the Thames water from its frozen stasis back to fluidity. The traces drawn by performers feet, water droplets and ash map the details of this messy exchange. The performers finally face to face hold the ice together as it melts away between their lightly touching fingers.
Through the expanded practices of listening’ facilitated by the changing materiality of the ice the performers enter into an intense ‘being with’ in this moment they understand something of each others fragility and strengths. The act of exchange builds an intimacy or a shared experience creating a lasting ‘knot’ between the performers.
Through the process of exchange the ice relinquishes it’s frozen, solid position, highlighting a shift in perspective, a wielding, a transformation, a break through impasse.